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Archives from November 2003
Framing the Friedmans
"Capturing the Friedmans" is Andrew Jarecki’s documentary about a child sex abuse scandal that shook Long Island, New York in the late 1980s. Arnold Friedman and his youngest son Jesse were accused of hundreds of cases of assault and sexual abuse o...
Unions are the Answer to the Supermarkets Woes
To those who believe that unions are nostalgic relics and that America must support it’s massively over indebted businesses at all cost, consider the curious logic of Wall Street food and drug analyst Mark Husson for Merrill Lynch Global Securities. It is hi...
Empire and Revolution in Bolivia
"It’s a utopia that’s going in who knows what direction." Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada, ex-President of Bolivia It is difficult, not to mention pointless, to resist being caught up in the tide of a rev...
Arundhati Roy’s Complaint for Peace
"Either you are with us or you are with the terrorists," President George W. Bush exclaimed at a joint session of Congress less than 10 days after the Sept. 11 attacks. The war on terrorism and the discourse surrounding it — which has now spread ac...
Capture Me, Daddy
We can’t just go around saying "what’s the matter with these people?" and expect that to solve America’s problems. Half of us (more than half, thanks) are working to get the bums out of office before the situation is irretrievable; the ...
The System Really Works
In the Summer/Fall of 2000 I decided to Identify myself as a "stop-light green," that is, "if I couldn’t vote red, I’d vote green, but never yellow." True, I could have voted red, but I thought that by voting Green and helping them ...
How the System Rigs the Jury Pool
I planned to go to jury duty on Friday, but they told me not to bother. It turns out that in Montgomery County, PA, as in many jurisdictions across the state and country, if you’re honest and answer, on your jury summons questionnaire, that you have b...
Bush Does Bali
George W. Bush’s late October visit to Indonesia was heavy on the superficial, upbeat sloganeering that characterizes his Administration’s explanations of U.S. foreign policy. For this trip, the line seemed to be "message: we don’t hate Musl...
A Journey Across the Bay Bridge
On a clear November morning I am approaching the toll plaza of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge. I pay the $2 crossing toll and begin proceeding west. Of that $2, $1 is a surcharge that was earmarked for the seismic retrofit of the Bay Bridge. This surcharge w...
Inside a Miami Jail
This article is not supposed to be about me because I’m so great or something, it’s just that I can only write about what I’ve seen and heard, so that’ s what I’m going to do. It helps that I was in the more interesting and/or hairy s...
Politicizing War on Fox News
Fair and balanced Fox News has reported extensively this month on the Senate Intelligence Committee. The two big stories are (1) that the Democrats on the Committee are politicizing its work (by calling for a broader investigation than the Republican leadership de...
Lying and Cheating, Bush’s New Political Math
As a parent, I faced the challenge of helping my kids learn the new math. But how do you help kids grasp contemporary reality when the equivalent of the cognitive shift in numbers hits politics? She asked for help in her Poli Sci course. Does your "new...
A Soldier’s Dream
I dreamed kind Jesus fouled the big guns’ gears; And caused a permanent stoppage in all bolts; And with a smile Mausers and Colts; And rusted every bayonet with His tears. "A Soldier’s Dream", Wilfred Owen...
Thomas Jefferson and Slavery
I’m not a big Charlie Rose fan. But last Monday night’s interview on PBS with Gary Wills on his new book, "...
The United States and the Bogeyman
Do you remember that great deck of playing cards that the Bush Administration came up with at the end of "major combat operations" in Iraq? You know, the one with the pictures of the 52 most loathsome Iraqi evildoers? Well, here we are only about six mon...
The "Free Trade" History Eraser
Three things hold people’s attention currently in Latin America, the nationwide protest in Bolivia in defence of the country’s natural resources, the ongoing popular defence of the Chavez government in Venezuela and the heavy political defeats suffered...
US Congress Does Israel’s Bidding, Again
On October 16 a Muslim leader, Mahathir Mohammed, delivered the keynote address before an all-Islamic Summit Conference in Malaysia. In his speech Mahathir called for Muslim unity. He condemned terrorism. And he urged the Muslim world to focus on cultural and econ...
an Interview with John Pilger
John Pilger is a veteran journalist and documentary filmmaker. In a career that spans more than three decades, he has reported from the scenes of some of the U.S. government’s most terrible war crimes–from Vietnam and Southeast Asia, to the frontline s...
Knock Down Gets to Wearin’ Thin
It was during the holiday season. My buddy Southwester and I stood on the corner of Telegraph and Haste Street in Berkeley, sharing a cigarette and talking up the propeller caps he was selling to the tourists when three cop cars pulled up, their lights aglow. Sout...
On the Anniversary of the Death of Wolfe Tone
On 19 November 1798 the prison surgeon (a French émigré) whispered over the severely weakened body of Wolfe Tone that should he attempt to move or speak, death would arrive instantly. Overhearing the welcome news, Tone thanked the sawbones and replie...
Vietnam and Iraq, Has the US Learned Anything?
There are great cultural, political, and physical differences between Vietnam and Iraq that cannot be minimized, and the geopolitical situation is entirely different. After all, the U.S. encouraged and materially supported Saddam Hussein in his war with Iran throu...
Turkey Potemkin
President Bush snuck in and out of Iraq under cover of night on Thanksgiving to have his picture taken with a turkey and some soldiers. If anything else was accomplished by the quick round-trip, the White House did not divulge it. Cable television news, in...
Worse Than Crimes
It is increasingly evident that U.S. Army commanders in Iraq know nothing about guerilla warfare. Over and over, they are ordering actions that are counterproductive. Three recent examples include: * U.S. forces have sealed off Saddam Hussein’s little...
New Bush Tape Raises Fears of Attacks
A tape today surfaced in U.S. media outlets of someone purporting to be George W. Bush at a U.S. military base in Baghdad. Intelligence analysts around the world are studying the videotapes. "It certainly looked and sounded like him, but we get so few ...
Suicide as WMD?
It wasn’t an illiterate street urchin whose brain was filled with fundamentalist Islamic hyperbole, and promises of an Arabian Nights paradise in the hereafter, who detonated the bomb that murdered twenty people and maimed three times that many in a popular ...